The contemporary context of relativity and relativism

Authors

  • Bert Olivier Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

Abstract

In this paper an analogy is drawn between certain features of Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity and the model of signification encountered in the work of the post-structuralists Lacan and Derrida. This analogy pivots on an achievement that is common to Einstein’s theory and the (post-)structuralist model of the sign, namely the subversion of the conceit of having access to something “absolute” — an “absolute” spatiotemporal vantage point in the case of Einstein, and “absolute” (immediate, fully present) meaning in the case of Derrida and Lacan. To be able to demonstrate this, the functionings of the structuralist “sign” and its radicalised post-structuralist   counterpart are contrasted with the traditional referential model of meaning, while Einstein’s Special Theory is scrutinised with a view to establishing a basis for comparison with post-structuralist semiotics.

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Published

2005-01-28

Issue

Section

Articles